Tuesday 23 October 2018

It's take-off for My Canine Companion at Dublin Airport

Maria Herlihy

There was a welcome boost for the My Canine Companion charity, which received a bumper €100,000 cheque from Dublin Airport Authority staff charity fund of the year.

My Canine Companion were one of three charities which shared in the €300,000 raised by staff of DAA through a number of charity events held throughout the year. 

Chief Executive Niall Ruddy of My Canine Companion said it is a huge boost to them as they do not receive any Government funding. 

"My Canine Companion had a record year in 2017 having provided 47 qualified service dogs to children and young adults with autism throughout the country." 

He said: "This fantastic donation will ensure that many more children and young adults will receive the life-changing gift of a service dog for them and their family," he said. 

My Canine Companion was founded seven years ago and in that time-frame to date has already given the gift of a dog to over 200 families throughout the country. It was founded by Cliona O'Rourke, Niall's wife, who was the first person in Europe to train a dog specifically to work with a child with autism in 2004. 

The other two charities which benefited from the DAA staff funding were MS Ireland and Merchant's  Quay Ireland, which is a homeless and a drug services charity. 

Members of the public also supported the scheme through collection points throughout the airport for passenger donations. 

Chief Executive of Dublin Airport Authority, Dalton Philips said he was immensely proud of the continuing support and "unwavering passion of DAA staff" in raising this huge sum of money for charity each year. 

DAA's Charity of the Year scheme is managed by staff, who also select the charities to benefit each year and generate a significant amount of the funds through their activities.